Grace’s Phone Journey

Week 1

About

I am beginning on a new journey to assess a possible “blind addiction” in my life. My cellphone! It has taken a position in my life that is overbearing and controlling. I am grateful for the opportunity this class has provided to me. This is a project I should have started A LONG TIME AGO! I hope that I come to the realization, that my phone is not as important to me as I portray it to be. I hope after this project, I learn to live in the moment, embrace all of life’s adventures, and shut down the world of the smartphone.

Get to Know Me…. and My Smartphone!

My iPhone is very personalized. I use the widget app to completely customize my homescreen. This was a very time consuming process (about 6 hours) but the results make my phone look so cute and unique. I kept Snapchat, Text Message, and the Phone application on the base bar at the bottom of the screen. These are apps I always need to be able to get to, so I keep them there for easy access. I also have the first page of my home screen filled with pictures of the most important people in my life as well as the time, which is big and boldly displayed.

Black Page
Blue Page
Yellow Page
Home Page

Blog #1

SmartPhone Compulsion Test

My smartphone compulsion test score was a 14 out of 15. This does not surprise me. I have known for a while that my iPhone is a big part of my life. It consumes a large portion of my time and distracts me often. There are many times where I should be activelty attentive to my surroundings, but instead my eyes and attention are glued to a screen. I do not know what I would do without my smartphone and I feel like it would give me anxiety and depression if someone took it away. This is definitley a habit I need to break and learn to live without it more.

Blog #2

Describe your smartphone profile. How do you primarily use your smartphone? For what purposes? Estimate the amount of time, on average, you spend on your phone each day. Also estimate the number of times you check your phone each day.

I use my smartphone for mostly social media. I use the app SnapChat the most. I am constantly communicating with friends. I take endless selfies, as well as videos of my friends and I. I also love watching my friends and seeing what they are doing. My second most used app, if I had to take a guess is TikTok. This app consists of watching 15 to 60 second videos of dancing, comedy, pets, and beauty tutorials. I am also a creator on this app. I create dance and beauty videos, where I recieve money weekly from the TikTok Creator Fund. I have over 160 thousand followers and I recieve 100k to 1M views on majority of my videos. I have always used the built in time tracker on my iPhone before taking this class. I have always known I spend more time on my phone than I should, and I use this feature to keep myself aware of the issue. I know that on average I spend about 5–7 hours a day on my phone. This app does not track the amount of times I pick up my phone. If I had to take a guess I would say I check my phone around anywhere from 50- 100 times per day.

Blog #3

What are your favorite apps to use, and why? (Optional: Provide screenshots of your smartphone screen to display the types and locations of your apps.)

My favorite apps on my phone ranked from 1–10 (1 being favorite.. 10 being least favorite) would be :

1. Snapchat (Over 6,000 Friends)

2. TikTok( 162.5k Followers)

3.Instagram(11.4k Followers)

4.Spotify

5. Hulu

6. Netflix

7. Facetime

8. Prequel

9. Outlook

10.Safari

Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram are all social media apps. I love posting content for all of my followers. I post anywhere from 3–6 Snapchat Story post every single day. These post only last 24 hours. I also Snapchat 20–45 friends a day daily on this app.

I post TikToks every 2 to 3 days. These include dance, comedy and beauty tutorial videos.

I post selfies and photoshoots to Instagram every other day. I mostly use this to show off my trendy outfits and style and share memorbale moments with my friends and family. I check these three apps frequently throughout the day.

I use spotify throughout my whole day. I play music in my room, in the car, through my headphones when bored, and at work when I am teaching dance classes.

Hulu and Netflix are used for streaming my favorite shows, mostly at night or if I have any free time. I usually always turn on one of the two apps when I am eating dinner.

I am currently in a long distance relationship, so I use Facetime to have a face to face interaction with my boyfriend at night.

Prequel is my picture editing app. I use this on every photo or video that gets uploaded to social media. I love all of its feature that include lightroom options, filters, and special effects.

I use the Outlook app to check my email daily. I do this so I don’t miss out on any important information for school. Also my work schedule each week is sent out through email.

And finally safari! I use this whenever I need to look up anyhting throughout my day. I use it to see if restaurants are open, search random questions that pop in my mind, and anything else I need from Google.

Blog #4

Report on the data you have accumulated thus far on your usage monitor app. Are you satisfied with the results? Are they approximately what you thought your usage would be, or are the figures surprisingly higher/lower?

September 11th to October 19th

My highest cell phone usage during this time period was 8 hours and 34 minutes. This happened on a Tuesday. My lowest cell phone usage was 3 hours and 46 minutes. This happened on a Monday.

My phone usage is suprisingly higher than I expected. I know that I am on my phone an excessive amount during the day, but I never expected numbers as high as 8 hours. I was also suprised to see how much the amount of time on my phone changes everyday. I thought I consistently stayed on my phone the same amount each day. I check the same apps, and communicate with the same people pretty much everyday. However, there were days that I was only on my phone 3 hours and some days where I spent up to 8 hours.

I would say I definielty need to start considering ways to eliminate my phone usage on a daily basis. Seeing the amount of time in front of me makes me wonder, how exactly do those hours accumulate? And what else could I be doing with the time wasted on a screen?

Blog #5

Research some ways to mitigate your smartphone usage. For starters, take a look at this 12-Step Plan. Choose two or three strategies and implement them. Write about the strategies you chose and why.

After looking at my cell phone usage, I realized I have been consumed by this device even more than I originally thought. Now that I have admitted I have a problem, it’s time to do some research to find ways to reduce my cell phone usage.

Don’t Charge Your Phone by Your Bed

httpswww.becomingminimalist.com/break-your-cell-phone-habit/

The first tip that I found that would be the best fit for me, was on a website called becoming minimalist. I charge my phone on my bed side table. In fact, I bought my dresser because it had a built in charging station on the back side of it. Because my phone is located so close to my bed, it is the last thing I look at before sleeping, and the first thing I pick up in the morning. Many of the negative side effects of too much cell phone usage like poor sleep can be prevented by this one simple fix. By charging my phone in a seperate room or even just even across the room, this can prevent the temptation of instantly picking it up. This is definitely a method I am going to try to reduce my personal phone usage.

Keep Your Phone Out of Sight While Socializing

https://medium.com/better-humans/the-technology-addicts-guide-to-reducing-phone-usage-9ed728500532

The second tip I found came from a page about cell phone addiction on Medium. This tip seemed reasonable for me. When I am out with my friends and family, I find myself constantly checking my phone, and even when I am not on it, it is always in my hand. By eliminating the view of my cell phone, while interacting with others, I am hoping this will eliminate my phone usage. I will be more present in the moment, and more attentive to the situation. I feel like with my phone out of sight, I will notice my friends interactions with their phones, and I will be able to encourage and motivate them to put away their devices as well. This can be an easy task for me because I carry a purse with me everywhere I go. Instead of holding my phone in my hand, I can leave it zipped up in my bag.

Digital Detox

https://www.pocketmindfulness.com/digital-smartphone-addiction/

The third tip I came across, came from a website called pocketmindfulness that layed out a specific 12- Step Plan. I would like to chose one day out of my week (most likely Sunday) where I try to stay off of my phone as much as possible. This detox will give me a refreshing day to be in the moment, absent from the online world, and hopefully open many new oppurtunities and experinces. I feel like it is a extremly healthy decision to be free from technology one day out of the week. It allows your brain to dream and wander, and it is a perfect oppurtunity to embrace boredom. If I actually go through with this tip, it might possibily be the most relaxing day out of the week for me.

Blog #6

This entry requires a short experiment. Try leaving your smartphone at home in your dorm room for an entire day. Then, write about your experience. Was it difficult or easy to do? Did you feel anxiety or relief?

This blog required to me participate in an experiment. The experiment involved me leaving my phone at home all day long. To be honest, out of 3 different days, I never made a successful attempt.

I first tried to complete this experiment during the middle of the week. A normal day for me would contain school and work. My mind was instantly filled with “what if” questions. What if my mother needs to get in contact with me? What if I need to GPS an address while driving? What if my friends need help with homework? What if I need it for somehting important at work? These questions consumed my thoughts and prevented me from leaving the house without it.

So I tried again… This time I tried on a Saturday. I didn’t have work or any specific plans. I left my house at 11:30 am for the first time that day. I went and met my friend for lunch. Instantly I got in the car and I was furious. I realized I had to listen to the radio. This is something I absolutely despise. I reached to plug my phone into the aux several times, realizing I did not have it. This made me feel mad. I could not have the instant gratification of listening to exaclty what I wanted to, and I had to sit through boring advertisements. Next, I arrived at the restaurant, and I realized I could not text my friend to ask if she was there or not. This made me feel inconvenienced and then awkward when I aimlessly walked around the parking lot searching for her car. Finally, while sitting and waiting for my food I was bored. My friend was searching through social media and I was sitting there staring. I felt like I was out of place and did not know how to act. I instantly had anxiety and deeply missed my phone. It felt like a whole piece of me was just missing. Anyway, I can assure you after that lunch date, I never left the house the rest of the day without my phone in hand.

Since I am extremely competitive, I wanted to try one more time. I was angry with myself that I could not go a day without my cellphone. I tried on a Sunday this time. This day was much easier for me. I ride with my parents to church, so I did not have an option on the music choice. They always control the radio and I did not miss my phone in that moment. For the hour I was at church, I did not miss or desire my phone at all. However, this was pretty much cheating, because I am never on my phone at church. I always try to pay close attention and absorb everything possible from my preacher. For the rest of the day, I never left home. I was catching up on school work, and I took a long nap. Technically, again this was cheating because I never had to leave my phone anywhere. I tried to stay off of my phone as much as possible, but caved in around 5 pm. Another failed attempt.

Throughout this experience, I realized that my phone is more than a necessity. It is pretty much somehting I cannot live without. This thought absolutely terrfied me. This is when I truly realized I needed to change my ways.

Blog #7

Let’s meditate. Try this mindfulness exercise. Then, write about your experience.

Growing up as a dancer, I have participated in many interpretive dance and conditioning classes that focused on breathing. This is a concept I know that is at the center of meditation. I had a feeling this would be an easy exercise for me. But, man was I wrong!

The exercise seemed simple until I was required to leave my phone open and in my lap. I was trying hard to focus on my breathing and clearing my mind. Until I was occupied with dings and notifications. The self control it took for me to not open my eyes and look at what was happening in the virtual world, was so hard.

I closed my eyes and said to myself “my phone is not that important… just relax”. I began to truly breath and focus all of my energy away from my phone. I thought about all the burdens, and negative emotions my phone had over me. I let go and relaxed. I just let it all go. Because I felt so content and happy in the moment, I remained their silent and still for several minutes.

When I opened my eyes, I realized that I had switched the roles. My phone no longer had power over me, I had all the power. I controlled it. In that moment, my life did not revolve around likes, comments and shares. It was centered around peace, relaxation, and isolation. This was probably the best feeling I have ever had. This is definitely something I want to continue doing in the future.

Blog #8

Data Presentation & Analysis

The first graph I made was my overall phone usage over the course of this whole experince. The most time I spent on my phone was 8 hours and 34 minutes. The least amount of time I spent on my phone was 2 hours and 55 minutes. I tried to do research to see if there was any correlation between the day of the week and the amount of time spent on my phone. The data I recieved over the course of the last three months showed no correlation. Unfortunately, my phone usage is random during the week.

I also took an average of the amount of time I spent daily on my phone from the data recorded over these 3 months. I spent an average of 5 hours and 40 minutes a day on my phone. To put this into perspective, I multiplied this by 365 days. This showed me throught the year I spend about 1,972 hours on my phone. That is equivalent to 82 out 365 days of the year to consecutive phone usage. These statistics scared me. God has given me a select amount of time on this Earth. Since I never know what day could be my last, I want to make the most of time. I definitely do not want to be wasting days and hours, with my attention consumed by selfies and mario-kart games.

The number of pickups I produced on a daily basis was even more alarming for me. The highest number of pickups in one day was 352. The lowest number of pick ups in one day was 94. On average, I pickup and check my phone 172 times a day. That is 62,780 times a year. This also was very alarming to me.

Most Used App

Snapchat was my most used app on my phone. This was not suprising to me. I know I spend an obsessive amount of time using it. It is the first app I check in the morning, as well as the last I app I use before bed. Out of all of my daily phone usage time, I spend anyhwere from 1–2 hours just on this single application.

Conclusion

From the day I saw the requirements of this assignment, I knew that my eyes would be opened up to a problem I was once blind to. My phone has a strong control over my life, and I despise it. It makes me dissapointed in myself knowing that I waste so much of my time on a cellphone. In addition to the amount of time I spend on my phone, the activities I am doing on it are not progressing my cognitive and social skills. This amount of time on phone also has damaging effects on my sleep and health. After seeing these crippling results and statistics, I want to work hard in the future to address and resolve this negative habit.

My technological habits are now a priority in my life. I want to put down the phone, and pick up reality. I want to live in the moment, interact with people not avatars, and spend more time disconnected on the screen and connected to the world.

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GRACE ANDREUCCI

GRACE ANDREUCCI

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